Mile 22 Report

April 9, 2021
by Lavenne22

Location:
Curry
Pistol River SP central
Conditions:
Friday 2:15 PM
Party cloudy
55° F
Wind:
Moderate from the N
Tide Level:
3.5 ft
Humans / Pets:
People:
3
Dogs:
1
Activities:
Walking / Running:
0
Playing in surf:
0
Playing in sand:
0
Sitting:
1
Rockhunting:
1
Tidepooling:
0
Surfing:
0
Windsurfing:
2
Kayaking:
0
Fishing:
0
N/A
Concerns:
Disturbances:
Vehicles:
Cars/Trucks on beach, allowed:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, allowed:
0
Cars/Trucks on beach, prohibited:
0
ATVs/OHVs on beach, prohibited:
0
Activity Comments:
I did not observe whether there were vehicles in parking area for this section of beach. I parked at Mile 23, Pistol River N. 3 other cars in lot, aside from mine. WIndsurfers, noted above, appeared out on the mile 22 water after I got back to my car.
Notable Wildlife:
1. Flock of what I believe were Buffleheads on Pistol River in the wide, deep bend between the beach and the highway. The group, maybe 10 -12, included birds with the striking black and white Bufflehead plumage & distinct, huge heads, as well as birds that were brownish and mottled. They congregated like birds of the same species. Possibly males and females or adults and juveniles. They paddled around, acted like ducks, then flew off. I viewed from a distance with binoculars. 2. At the mouth of the Pistol River there was a large flock of seagulls, many a speckled brown color. Among them were two startlingly different birds: bright white chests and lower face, stark black flat across top of head, and thick, straight dark orange bills. They took off in flight, had black pointy wings. Per Merlin bird app, Caspian Terns. 3. Two seals observed at mouth of Pistol River, on sand. One was smaller than the other. They were both brown. The smaller one was moving around on the sand. I was far away, approximately 700 feet, and using binoculars, but when I took two steps in their direction they plunged into the water and looked at me. I immediately turned and walked away.
Dead Birds:
Total:
0
Signs of oil:
0
Entanglement:
0
Species/names:
0
Stranded:
Total:
0
0
Fish & Invertebrates:
0
Driftline:
Small rocks·Kelp or Algae·Shells·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)
Driftline was clean. Between the dunes and the river-- where the river flows behind the dunes-- there was one chunk of styrofoam, a large tangle of rope and very damaged floats, and a large truck or tractor tire. I was not equipped to collect large items. I picked up a small plastic bottle and two plastic lids.
New Development:
Modifications:
Natural Changes:
Erosion of vegetated foredune
This whole section of beach is basically a sandbar between river and ocean. There is a section where the sand changes from soft beige and black and green to flat, hard, and pebbly-- like riverbottom. The north side of this section has a sandbar extending from land towards sea, perpendicular to the shoreline. This appears to be an older path of the river, which is now maybe a quarter mile further south. The dunes all along this mile are heavily eroded and there are massive patches of driftwood-- huge trunks, trees--just inside the dunes as well as all along the river and flat areas. Appears to be a combination of debris washed down the river as well as tossed up by the ocean during storms. The eroded sections of dunes have patches where the grass is matted and damaged and roots are exposed. Overall the dune grass looked very healthy.
Comments:
Summary:

Overall clean, windswept beach with lots of massive driftwood and notable dune erosion. Observed Buffleheads on river as well as two Caspian Terns at the mouth of the river. Saw two seals at mouth of river. Given the freshwater access and the shelter of dunes and driftwood, I find myself curious about all the wildlife I did not see in this rich habitat.  There were lots of animal tracks but they were indistinct and windblown. 

  • Could have been Goldeneyes, but looked more like Buffelheads per head shape and markings.
    Pistol River, mile 22, on the stretch where the river parallels the beach between the highway and the dunes.
    April 9, 2021
  • Clean, windswept beach looking SW
    Mile 22
    April 9, 2021
  • Driftwood in flat area
    Mile 22
    April 9, 2021
  • Driftwood in dunes, looking S
    Mile 22
    April 9, 2021
  • High tideline, looking N
    Mile 22
    April 9, 2021
  • Mouth of Pistol River. I was too far away to photograph wildlife viewed here with binocs
    Mile 22
    April 9, 2021
  • Pistol River high water mark
    Pistol River high water mark
    Mile 22, section of river between dunes and highway, parallel to ocean.
    April 9, 2021
  • Pistol River looking NE
    Mile 22, section of river between dunes and highway
    April 9, 2021
Other Mile 22 Reports (4)

2021

April 12, 2021 - Lavenne22
Flock of Buffleheads on the river. Observed approximately 15 Caspian Terns in flight. ( I saw two standing at the river mouth 3 days ago). Many gulls, one seal, and one dead bird-- wings only....

2016

April 15, 2016 - Volunteer Trainer
The information and photo are from John Chapman at HMSC. He was able to scrape some of the animals off the boat. Many live specimens. A reminder that we are still getting tsunami debris with live...
  • This boat washed up on the beach just north of Port Orford. Dr. John Chapman has collected specimens to be identified.

2012

January 28, 2012 - Muriah
This "hotspot" for international windsurfing competition in the summertime,the Pistol River Wave Bash is nearly abandoned now and there was no one else to see the sunset from there tonight ... except...
  • Bird apparently died not able to swallow the spiny rockfish it caught, nor to eject it.
  • Looking from remains of decade old Driftwood Condos north to Windsurfer Rock and Cape Sebastian.

2008

August 12, 2008 - KenBax
The Pistol River remains closed from the ocean. A large number of pelicans and gulls mingled with a few cormorants seem to be 'headquartering' at the lake feature that accumulates just past the...